Running a successful blog is tough. Writing top-quality content and promoting it across social media takes a great deal of time and dedication. So much so, that it can often come at the expense of your blog’s overall user experience. It’s all very well being a top-tier content writer and promoter, but if your readers arrive at a sub-par website, they won’t stick around long enough for any of that to matter. Boost blog user experience is a key factor to consider when it comes to creating a blog with a loyal following, so with that in mind, here are some top tips for making your users’ interactions with your site as smooth and seamless as possible:
How To Boost Your Blog User Experience
Optimize Your Blog for Mobile Devices
It’s no secret that smartphone internet use has overtaken that of the desktop PC. 70% of all media content is now consumed on a handheld device, so there’s a good chance that the bulk of your visitors are browsing your blog using a mobile phone or tablet.
Smartphone users have notoriously low tolerance levels for websites that fail to display content correctly. Clinging to a badly optimized or outdated blog design will almost certainly be costing you traffic.
In addition, in September 2020, Google will officially switch to a mobile-first algorithm, though it’s widely accepted that the search giant has been favoring well-optimized mobile-friendly sites since late 2015.
Get Responsive: Go to a site like Responsinator and check how your blog displays on various mobile and tablet screen sizes. Next, head over to Google’s free tool to check if your website passes mobile-first standards.
If you don’t like what you see, you’re going to need to find a new design. It might seem excessive and a long way from a “quick fix”, but the time you invest upfront will pay dividends in the future.
For owners of really old websites, it’s time to move over to something like WordPress, which makes implementing mobile-first design trivially easy. Though it’s still important to choose a good code, a premium theme from a reputable designer.
Improve Page Load Speed
Page load speed matters. With attention spans decreasing by the year, and an increasing reliance on smartphone data plans, modern blogs need to be lightweight and fast loading to keep users engaged.
You can check your blog’s loading time using sites like WebPageTest or Pingdom. These tests allow you to make informed decisions before settling on a new WordPress theme or website design. You’ll also be able to see which elements of your blog are hogging valuable resources, like overly large images and graphics, as well as clunky and unnecessary plugins and badly implemented caching services.
One often overlooked aspect of site loading times is bad quality hosting, so be sure to do your research before paying out for space on a sluggish server.
Simplify Your Blog’s Navigation
It’s a well-known fact that drop-down menus with dozens of sub-menu items perform poorly on smartphones and tablets. Yet many blog owners are unaware that even desktop users find overly crowded menus confusing. As a reuslt, you can use itto boost your blog user experience.
This all comes down to a phenomenon known as decision fatigue: When presented with too many menu options, a good deal of users will simply choose to ignore the menu entirely, heading back to where they came from. Usually their social media feed.
Indeed, the massive rise of social media has changed the way modern internet users interact with websites:
In the past, a user typed a search query, found a website, and then spent time using the navigation menu to browse around for further interesting information.
These days, a user is more likely to see something in a social media feed that piques their interest, click on it, get the information they were looking for and then return to scrolling through their Facebook feed.
That means it’s vital to keep navigation simple. If in doubt stick with the “One Page, One Goal” mantra, and learn the art of funneling a reader toward a positive call-to-action.
Find and Fix Broken Links
Broken links create a terrible first impression. They badly impact on your blog’s user experience, harm your search engine rankings, and ultimately cost you money. Even worse, you might even have links on your blog that now lead to hacked websites and phishing scams.
Use a broken link checker to sift through your blog and fix any old or outdated links before they harm your reputation.
Make Your Blog Posts Easier to Read
Remember that short attention span issue? Modern internet users will run a mile when confronted with a wall of text.
It’s vitally important that your blog content isn’t formatted like an essay. Where possible, keep paragraphs short and break them up with useful infographics and images. You can also use bullet points and lists to break up facts into easily digestible sections:
- Keep your line lengths to a maximum of 75 characters.
- Make sure your font sizes are legible: Aim for at least 16-18px.
- Use correct heading tags to make articles more readable.
Avoid Jargon and Industry Speak To Boost Blog User Experience
Unless you’re running a very niche blog, it’s imperative to avoid the use of corporate jargon. Technical terms that are only used inside your specific industry.
Your writing should be clear, concise, and understandable to a regular reader with limited industry experience. If you’re in any doubt, adopt an easy-going, conversational tone, and try to be considerate to readers who might be intimidated by complex technical writing.
Understand Your Audience: Take time to figure out who you are writing to and how that might affect the style. Tone of your blog posts. This is also the cornerstone of good sales writing, so it’s a vital skill for a successful blogger to master.
Guide Users with Calls-to-Action
One of the most important things you can do to improve the user experience of your blog is to give clear calls to action. Throughout your content.
In an age where attention spans are short and navigation menus often ignored. It’s vital to subtly intersperse your writing with relevant links to other pieces of content and pages of your blog that might be of interest to your readers.
If you intend to include a call-to-action to fill out a form, or download an info-product, be mindful of positioning: Pop-up banners are universally hated by users (and Google) and increasingly ineffective for growing an email list.
Placing calls-traction within, or at the end of your content, is much better from a user experience perspective; Your email sign-ups will almost certainly improve!
Don’t Ask Users for Too Much
About those sign up forms: Keep them short and sweet.
Never ask users for anything other than an email address if they’re signing up to download a free report. Every extra piece of information you ask a user to submit will create friction; As a result, that will ultimately lose you a subscriber.
Even contact forms should limit the number of necessary fields a user needs to fill in before sending them. You don’t need ten different fields asking a user to give their full name, telephone number and shoe size. Just ask for a contact address and a first name.
If your site needs to comply with GDPR regulations. This goes beyond a simple user experience perspective: You aren’t allowed to collect more data than is absolutely necessary.
Boost Your Blog’s User Experience Conclusion
Improving your website’s user experience can seem like a chore. Yet, with attention spans dropping and internet habits changing. So, it’s vital to make sure your blog stays ahead of the curve. So roll up your sleeves, start with the low hanging fruit and you’ll be improving user engagement and traffic in no time!